June 22, 2013

Meanwhile (2011)

Meanwhile (2011)
Directed by: Hal Hartley
Country: USA

Review: What a great joy to find that indie filmmaker Hal Hartley has returned to his best shape and style with “Meanwhile”, a film that is meant to portray New York City through the adventures of Joseph, a man whose assets were frozen by The State of NY due to an unpaid tax debt that went to the wrong address. With this incident Joseph seemed to start gaining conscience of other people’s problems, having deliberate and fortuitous encounters with a variety of New York's inhabitants that will mark his life. Hartley found a light and non-sentimental solution to look at not so positive aspects that characterize NYC, such as traffic problems, jobless and hungry people, suicide, police overzealousness, immigration, and the constant struggle to survive financially in a city where the hasty rhythm and restlessness are constant. The pursuance of success is often mentioned and depicted not just through the need of getting different jobs, but also through the business opportunities that arise. Magnificently shot, “Meanwhile” is a film of great humanity, being very funny at times, and showing objectivity on every encounter and dialogue. D.J.Mendel has a persuasive performance as film-producer-aspiring-to-be-drummer, in his fifth collaboration with Hal Hartley, while helmer’s wife Miho Nikaido also plays a small role as herself. In only 59 minutes, Hartley presents a meaningful film for everyone, but the New Yorkers certainly will feel it with much more heart than the rest of the viewers.

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